Prophet remark row: Religious, political freedom in Muslim nations | India News

NEW DELHI: India has faced major global backlash in the past two days over the controversial comments of two BJP spokespersons, one of whom has been suspended and the other removed.
Nupur Sharma and Naveen Kumar Jindal caused a furore in the Arab world with their derogatory remarks against the prophet Mohammed. As many as 15 countries, including Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Kuwait and Qatar, have strongly condemned the statements of Sharma – the spokesperson for India’s largest political party – during a TV debate.

While the central government is firing to quell any ill will from some of these countries, several people have pointed out that the countries criticizing India are not really ambassadors of religious freedom themselves.
A human rights counter
India, for its part, has firmly rejected criticism from Pakistan and agencies such as the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) with a harsh response.
Referring to Pakistan’s criticisms, the Foreign Ministry said that “no one is aware of the absurdity of a serial minority rights violator commenting on the treatment of minorities in another country”.

“The world has witnessed the systematic persecution of minorities including Hindus, Sikhs, Christians and Ahmadiyyas by Pakistan. The world has witnessed the systematic persecution of minorities including Hindus, Sikhs, Christians and Ahmadiyyas by Pakistan,” the statement said. MEA.
Speaking to the OIC’s comments, the MEA said India accords “highest respect” to all religions and that the statement by the 57-member group exposed its “divisive agenda” pursued at the behest of “vested interests”.
Religious, civil liberty in other countries
Indian diplomats, summoned by countries such as Qatar, Iran and Kuwait, did most of the firefighting by distancing the central government from the inflammatory comments.
The central government is careful not to create further disgrace that could damage long-standing diplomatic ties with these countries.
But the human rights and freedoms registration of these countries does not paint a rosy picture either.

According to the Freedom House 2022 report, India (66) scores even better on political and civil liberties than all of these 15 countries.
According to the Freedom in the World report, which assesses the real rights and freedoms of individuals, Saudi Arabia has a score of just 7 out of 100.
Bahrain (12), UAE (17), Oman (24) and Qatar (25) are not much higher themselves. In particular, they were among the first countries to lash out at India for the comments.

In the Cato Institute’s 2019 Human Freedom Index, most Muslim-majority countries that are furiously erupting rank low when it comes to personal freedom.
Here too, countries such as Saudi Arabia and Iran score far below the world average with extremely low degrees of freedom.
A not so clear record
The United States Department of State has also pointed to several examples of religious discrimination in these countries in its annual International Religious Freedom report.
From religious violence to prohibitions on conversion, most of these countries have drawn the attention of NGOs and human rights organizations for showing intolerance towards minorities.
In Iran, for example, Shia clerics and prayer leaders continued to denounce Sufism and the activities of Sufis, both in sermons and in public statements.
In Jordan, religious leaders reported persistent online hate speech, often via social media, targeting religious minorities and those advocating religious moderation.
In Libya, religious minorities said converts to other religions, as well as atheists, agnostics and other non-religious individuals, were threatened with violence or being fired from work, their families and communities because of their faith or lack of faith.
The Foreign Ministry report cited an example from Indonesia where in April and May there were reports of a “global Jewish conspiracy” on social media that alleged that Jews, Christians and Communists used Covid-19 and related restrictions on public gatherings to promote the destroy Islam. †
In other hardline Islamic countries, such as Saudi Arabia, people reported that those who converted from Islam to Christianity almost always did so in secret, fearing the reactions of relatives and the threat of criminal prosecution, up to and including “execution”.
While the report also mentions inter-communal violence in India, several other think-tank indices show that the country is relatively more tolerant of minorities than many other Muslim countries — especially those that have erupted in anger over the controversy over the Prophet.

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